Friday, February 19, 2021

gluten-free and dairy-free herb-y savoury drop biscuits


I've made these guys before, but I liked them better this way: lighter and fluffier. Here you go! 

You'll need:

  • 300 g gluten-free baking mix (includes baking powder)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • mixed dried Italian herbs, garlic powder, and dried parsley
Do this:

Whisk everything together, drop on to baking pans with silicone sheets, and bake at 170 C/350 F for about 14 minutes. 

Enjoy with homemade sauer klops (meatball) soup! Perfect when you have many snowy days in a row.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

gluten-free and dairy-free banana and black-sesame bread

This little jar of black sesame paste kept staring up at me from the cabinet, with a best-before date looming. So I stared at a few online recipes and settled on this one (which I changed a bit). 

You'll need:
  • 200 g gluten-free pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used white but you could use black or white)
  • 1/4 c. black sesame paste
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
Do this:

Just beat everything with a mixer in a big bowl, oil the insides of a couple little loaf pans, pour the batter in, top with some black sesame seeds if desired, and bake at 180 C for 25 minutes then at 160 C for about 10 minutes (or I suppose you could cover it with aluminum foil and keep it at the higher heat instead of lowering to 160). 

It was a good combo of nutty and sweet, and a tad bit of salt to perk it up even more. I will be buying more black sesame paste just to make this again! 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

dairy-free and gluten-free savoury salsa-yogurt muffins


These were a last-minute decision (to use up some salsa and to accompany eggs for a main meal) and an unexpected delight. I was pretty tired and opted for scrambled eggs and hash browns for dinner (and yes, sadly and deliciously, canned peaches for dessert). I had no idea that anyone in the house would like these, but I went for it anyway. Here's what I conjured up. (One of the boys liked them reheated and with a side of sliced ham today for a midmorning snack.)

You'll need:
  • 300 g baking mix (I used gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used soy)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • dried parsley for sprinkling on top
Do this:

Whisk everything together, slosh into muffin cups, top with dried parsley, and bake on 170 C/350 F for about 12 minutes or so. That's it! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

ayurvedic dairy-free turmeric latte


Oh boy, this was delicious! I had remembered reading something about turmeric lattes a few years ago and wanted to try it in winter. This recipe was wonderful, and here it is with a few of my own tweaks. It actually made me feel really good and I felt much more energetic after I drank it. Maybe I need to try it in the morning and not at night! 

You'll need:
  • 1 cup milk (I used organic soy)
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed (or other) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • sprinkle of cardamom
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 drops liquid stevia 
Do this:

Put everything except the stevia into a pot on the stove and gently simmer and whisk for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and drop in the stevia and then pour into a mug. I sprinkled mine with a little bit of extra black pepper. 

It's so warming, refreshing, and energizing all at the same time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

my best salmon cakes so far


I still like to play around with upgrading my salmon cakes game every time I make them! Here's the latest iteration, and if I say so myself, the best yet. I usually add a little dollop of mayo, but this time added some yogurt, too, and I think it elevated them to another yumster level.

You'll need:
  • 3 cans (170 g/6 oz. each) salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 T. yogurt
  • 3 T. mayo
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup rice flour, or enough to hold these cakes together
Do this:

Form into patties and lightly fry on both sides in a pan or griddle with a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Serve with mashed taters and a vinegary coleslaw (cabbage, carrots, equal amounts of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and dried parsley). 

Serve the salmon cakes with Tabasco and ketchup for some hot and sweet. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

new york-style vegan and gluten-free cheesecake

Isn't she a beaut!? We totally enjoyed this for our New Year's Eve party-at-home, just the four of us. It's thick and rich so it lasted us a few days, fortunately. I'm blogging all this, including my own tweaks, because my son Matthew wants to have this again for his birthday in March. I used a storebought and imported jar of Finnish strawberry-rhubarb jam for the topping, and it was the perfect tartness with the richness of the cheesecake. 

For the crust, I used this recipe from Gnom Gnom, and this is how I interpreted it for us.

You'll need (for an 8.5-inch/22 cm springform pan, which I oiled and lined the bottom with baking paper):
  • 2 cups almond flour or meal
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • a sprinkle/pinch of sea salt
Do this:

Toast the almond flour in a dry pan on the stove for a few minutes, until it turns a bit darker and is fragrant. Put that into a food processor and whiz up with the other ingredients. Press it into the bottom of the springform pan and bake at 170 C/350 F for about 8 minutes or so. Let it cool and rest while you get on with making the cake filling. 

For the cheesecake (based on this recipe from A Virtual Vegan)...

You'll need: 
  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked them in just-boiled water for 15 minutes and then drain)
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas (about 1 cup, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons katakuriko (Japanese potato starch), cornstarch, or arrowroot powder
  • 120 ml or 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 400 ml soy cream (thick cream for whipping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 320 F/160 C. Blend the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and then pour into your prepared pan with base. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until it's firm. 

Cool overnight in the fridge and then top with a fruit topping if desired. Enjoy that sucker! It's so festive, and a perfect substitute for the New York cheesecake I grew up on from Andrea's Quality Cheesecake in Orlando. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

best beet salad


Now I can't find the recipe I based this off of, but basically it's this:

You'll need:
  • toasted walnuts (I dry toasted them in a pan on the stovetop)
  • lettuce
  • beets (I roasted mine with olive oil, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar)
  • feta cheese
  • for the dressing: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt and pepper
I made big batches of the beets and walnuts, so we had this several times over the last few days. Enjoy over and over during Christmas week! 

Monday, December 14, 2020

gluten-free dairy-free sweet potato pie


For a little something different I made a sweet potato pie instead of a kabocha pumpkin one this year for Thanskgiving, and it was smooth, creamy, spicy, and carb-o-licious. That's what you need for a feast day, and we especially deserved it after spending Thanksgiving afternoon outside playing ground golf on top of a mountain with chilly gusts of wind and sprinklings of rain blowing us around! 

Japanese sweet potatoes have flesh that is denser and drier than American sweet potatoes, so I had to add some extra soy milk to smooth it all out. Rather than trying to hold a hand mixer for this heavy filling, I threw it all in my heavy-duty blender and it worked out so well that way. My crust was from Elana's Pantry with grapeseed oil instead of coconut, and the pie filling recipe was from Paleo Grubs. 

For the crust, you'll need:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large egg
Do this:

Pulse the almond flour and salt in your food processor just until mixed, than add in the oil and egg and process until it forms a big ball. Smoosh it into a 9-inch glass pie plate and bake at 350 F/170 C for about 8 minutes. Take it out and allow it to cool before filling and baking again.

For the pie filling, you'll need:
  • 1 lb./450 g sweet potatoes, washed and with holes poked in the skin
  • 1/3 cup soy milk or more as needed to thin out the dense Japanese sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • sprinkles of cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
Do this:

Bake your sweet potatoes until soft and then scoop out the flesh, adding it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend till smooth, then pour into the pie crust and bake at 350 F/170 C for at least 40 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool, then slice and top with soy cream that you've whipped with a little bit of sugar and vanilla. 

Make it at least a day ahead of your feast for a simpler time on the day itself. 

Happy holidays! 

wasabi and edamame egg salad

Super-easy and packs-a-punch egg salad! Just boil your eggs and then peel and mash with mayo, wasabi paste, salt and pepper, and edamame. This was absolutely more-ish and delicious served with senbei rice crackers and slices of cucumber for dipping. I can imagine some sliced green onions would be good in this too. Go wild!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

very easy gluten-free vegan chocolate cake


We were craving chocolate cake recently and found this recipe, but of course I changed it a bit to our own tastes and what we had on hand. (We made a different frosting, but I left that up to my son Joel, so you'll have to ask him about that.)

You'll need:
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (a natural thickener)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup neutral-flavored oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 2 cups soy milk
Do this:

Preheat the oven to 180 C and oil a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with baking paper. First mix the dry ingredient and then the wet ingredients separately, then mix them together and bake for at least 45 minutes. Cool and frost. (Sounds like winter, and winter's coming, folks!)

Enjoy that sucker! And the most fun was making it together with my sons. 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

super-easy cornbread, without flour or cornmeal


I found this quick recipe on Facebook in a video made by "SuperYummy," but I can't find a website to back it up. Anyway, all you really need is a big bowl and a blender and cornbread (not like Grandma's, though!) is at your fingertips and into your gob.

You'll need:

  • 1.5 cups dry rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels (canned is fine, but drain it first)
Do this: 

Soak 1.5 cups rice with the 2 eggs plus half a cup of water for at least two hours.

Preheat your oven to 170 C/350 F and butter your baking pans (I used two pans that were each 9 cm X 19 cm (3.5 inches X 8 inches). 

In a powerful blender or food processor, pulse the plumped-up rice and eggs till smooth, then add in corn, salt, and baking powder until it's a nice batter. Pour into your prepared pans and bake 35-40 minutes. 

It makes dense loaves, so be ready! Having never baked anything with dry rice before, I had no idea what to expect, but it was a pleasant alternative to traditional cornbread and much cheaper for us here in Japan where cornmeal is imported and pricey. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

savoury tuna-sweetcorn pancakes with pickle-y carrots


I bought a gluten-free baking mix from our local Japanese grocery store that can be used for okonomiyaki or fried chicken, and sometimes I use it for these savoury muffins that I conjured up a couple years ago. These tuna and sweetcorn pancakes were a surprising hit! I was imagining a cross between a British tuna-sweetcorn sandwich and Japanese okonomiyaki, and these were birthed. The boys have asked for them again this week.

You'll need: 
  • 300 grams gluten-free baking mix plus the called-for water
  • salt and pepper
  • dried parsley
  • sliced green onions
  • 4 small cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 large can of corn, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise for the recipe, plus more for topping if desired
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Do this:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the baking mix plus the amount of water that it calls for. Then stir in the tuna, corn, salt, pepper, dried parsley, sliced green onions, and mayo. Fry as you would for regular pancakes, in a little oil on a hot frying pan. 

In a separate small bowl, mix the grated carrots with the already-whisked olive oil, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and a bit of salt.

Plate up the pancakes with a spoonful of the carrot salad, a drizzle of more mayo, and sprinkle some dried parsley over the top if desired.

oatmeal-banana thumbprint jam cookies

These "flourless thumbprint breakfast cookies" are such easy cookies to make, even after dinner, in a few minutes. You just need oatmeal, bananas, and your favorite jam. 

Here you go! 

You'll need:
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseed meal (you can leave this out if you don't have either)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • jam
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking pan with parchment/baking paper. Pulse your oats in a food processor, but don't grind them into a powder---leave a few whole oats. Mix with all the ingredients except the jam. Make them into cookie shapes and press a little indention into each cookie to spoon a bit of jam into. Bake for about 11 minutes.

An easy dessert with some yummy flavors. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

fudge babies

I can always count on Elana's Pantry to provide me with good and easy recipes with ingredients I usually already have. These fudge babies were outstanding and so simple to make.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup dates with pits removed
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 sea salt
Do this: 

Throw it all into a food processor until it becomes a paste and then roll into balls. That's it! 

They taste dark, rich, and almost alcoholic. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

my egyptian friend sally's chicken, mahshi, and molokhia

I had to go looking for these treasured photos and finally found them in our July 2017 folder! All that time I had been wanting to blog about my Egyptian friend Sally's absolutely delicious chicken, mahshi (rice-stuffed vegetables), and molokhia dip for bread made with moroheiya (mallow leaf, which is amazingly grown in Egypt and Japan both). It was a fabulous meal, but what is more, they are fabulous friends and we really miss them now that they have moved back to Egypt. 

Sally generously made a feast for all of us that day! 

I still have my notes that I took, but it's been three years so I hope I got it all down correctly.

Take out the innards from a whole chicken, wash the chicken with water, then pat it down with flour, salt, and vinegar. Boil the chicken in water with two onions (one chopped, one halved) and two carrots (peeled and cut in big chunks), salt, black pepper, garlic, and 5 bay leaves. Boil about an hour, until you stick the chicken with a fork and no juices come out of the chicken. 

Rinse 3 cups of rice. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan, then fry with 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon white sugar, then add in the rice with black pepper, coriander powder, and Magic Garlic Salt. 

Wash and take all the leaves off the stems of the moroheiya. Set aside.

Add 1 can of tomato sauce to the rice and stir. Turn off the heat and add fresh chopped and washed chervil and coriander leaves. 

Prepare your vegetables for the mahshi: two big tomatoes, 3 eggplant, 8 small Japanese green peppers (piman). Cut tops off the piman but leave a bottom on each, cut eggplant in half and hollow out. Stuff the piman and eggplant 7/8 of the way up with rice mixture. Stand up in the rice cooker. Take the 2 firm tomatoes and scoop out the inside over the piman and eggplant in rice cooker. Stuff the tomatoes 3/4 up with the rice mixture and then put the tops back on. Put the two stuff tomatoes on top of the piman and eggplant. Add about 10 ladles of chicken stock from the pot that you cooked the chicken in. Set on normal rice cooker setting.

Put the moroheiya in the food processor and pulse till very finely chopped. 

Take the chicken out of the pot and drain. Put on a plate. Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock to a small pot and add the moroheiya, salt if needed, and whisk over very low heat. Whisk in two minced cloves of garlic and then take off the heat. 

Save the rest of the soup stock for other things.

Add 2 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a small frying pan. Add in about 6 or 7 minced cloves of garlic and cook until dark yellow, but not brown. 

Add crushed (but still chunky) dried coriander in with the garlic then add to the moroheiya. Whisk again over low heat. 

After the chicken has cooled a bit, cut it into chunks and remove the skin. Rub with ketchup, sprinkle with lemon pepper, put the chicken pieces in an oven-safe pan, and cook at 200 C for about 15 minutes. Then grill/brown the top for 10 minutes. 

Serve the chicken on a platter, the stuffed vegetables on a plate, and the moroheiya dip in individual bowls for dipping bread slices. 

I'm warning you--it's absolutely delicious. And writing all this up has really made me miss Sally. Sally, friend, thank you for your generous heart and your warm friendship.